The former Labour minister who received hundreds of thousands of pounds from a Chinese government agent has admitted to Sky News he did discuss policy with her, but insisted she “gained no political advantage for the Chinese state from me”.
In an exclusive interview with Sky News, Brent North MP Barry Gardiner denied he felt “a fool” following the revelation that Christine Lee has been engaged in “political interference activities”.
But the ex-Labour frontbencher admitted he was “very angry that somebody tried to use me in that way”.
Asked by Sky News chief political correspondent Jon Craig if he ever discussed Labour policy with Ms Lee, Mr Gardiner replied: “No, not in great detail, no.”
And he suggested Ms Lee had received “a very poor investment” from the donations she gave to him, mainly to cover staffing costs in his office.
Mr Gardiner had also been employing her son as his diary manager.
“This is somebody who received awards from the British prime minister,” the Labour MP said of Ms Lee.
“This is somebody who, to all intents and purposes, was operating as a legitimate person in the UK.
“It now is clear, because the security services have this information, that she was acting to try and gain influence.
“I am very clear, and I believe the security services are clear, that she did not manage to do that.
“She gained no political advantage for the Chinese state from me in any way whatsoever.”